Switzerland is extremely popular with foreign workers. Although the cost of living is high, the low unemployment rate and high earning potential attract many expats to Switzerland every year. But how do you find your dream job? Here are a few possibilities.
Current situation of the Swiss labour market
By European standards, the Swiss economy is extremely stable, with an average unemployment rate of just 2.5% in 2018. This makes the country attractive for international specialists and managers. Around 70% of jobs in Switzerland are in the service sector, above all in the financial and insurance sectors. Other important pillars of the economy are information technology and pharmaceuticals. Medium-sized companies with 250 or fewer employees dominate and employ two thirds of the workforce.
Lack or need of specialists?
The demand for international specialists in Switzerland varies greatly from one occupational group to another. While some occupational groups suffer from a shortage of skilled workers, others have an oversupply of skilled workers.
The following occupational groups are currently experiencing an acute shortage:
- IT occupations
- Structural and civil engineers
- Mechanical engineer
- Programmers and Analysts
- Tax consultant
- Medical doctors
More demand than offer
However, there are also occupations or sectors that register an oversupply of skilled workers. There are significantly more job seekers than vacancies. This applies above all to them:
- Hotels and restaurants
- Personal Services
- Construction industry
SECO continuously analyses current developments in the demand for skilled workers and provides the basis for decision-making on skilled worker policy.
Competition is fierce
Competition in Switzerland is fierce. Those who are not sent by their company to Switzerland, but are looking for a job themselves, should consider the following.
You are applying in a very competitive market. This means that you will have to assert yourself against many other candidates and, in addition to the best professional qualifications, you will need application documents that set you apart from the crowd and convey a positive image.
But beware, in Switzerland, modesty is the trump card. Excessive praising of one’s own achievements does not go down well in Switzerland. The application must be objective and the details (e.g. language skills) must be correct. If your French is mediocre, don’t write very well in the documents.
The perfect application documents
Complete application documents
A perfect application in Switzerland is extensive. A short application consisting only of e-mail and curriculum vitae, which is common in the Anglo-Saxon world, is not enough. The documents also include personal details such as marital status and date of birth. Other important rules:
- Write your curriculum vitae achronologically, the current one first
- A curriculum vitae shall not consist of more than three pages and not less than two pages
- Education and training, languages, IT and hobbies together should make up less than half a page
- If you have long gaps in your resume, be sure to explain them! Only short gaps of three to four months to a maximum of half a year do not require explanation
- Be sure to include references and references from previous jobs. In Switzerland, great importance is attached to the assessment of previous employers
- Always send application documents in PDF format
Always with cover letter
Always write a cover letter adapted to the position. This will give you the opportunity to speak directly to the potential employer. You should address the following points:
- Why you are the right candidate for the position
- Why you are applying to this company and for this position right now
- Why he wants to change jobs or why you’re unemployed.
- Add additional information about yourself and your professional situation, and don’t just repeat the information already in your CV
Where do you look for a new job?
When you have your application documents ready, you can start your actual job search. These are the most common ways to find a new job in Switzerland:
Your personal network
If you already live in Switzerland, activate your personal network. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Be as specific as possible and explain exactly what kind of job you are looking for or what your qualifications are. Especially if you have friends and acquaintances who work for large companies, ask them to look for a suitable job for you on the intranet.
The most promising way is to search via the job portal. You can give up a search subscription, so that you are informed comfortably by E-Mail about job offers, which fit to you. These are the best job search sites:
Are you looking for a job in an NGO? Then this website of the Swiss government is interesting for you.
Recruitment agencies in Switzerland are now in a difficult position. Fewer and fewer companies are willing to spend money on recruiting and to hire an agency. Nevertheless, it’s worth finding a recruitment agent who is your expert for the industry you’re in. Here are a few:
- Executive Search
- Professional Search
- Temporary Jobs
Speaking Swiss German a big plus
If your curriculum vitae shows that you understand and speak Swiss German, then this is a great advantage when looking for a job. Your application will be preferred in the process to candidates who don’t speak the dialect and later in the job you will simply have it with your colleagues. To make Swiss German work for you, sign up for our online course today. We wish you every success with your job search!